Leila Rasheed's Diamonds and Deceit is the sequel to Cinders and Sapphires and is every bit as frothy, drama-laden, and fun as its predecessor (and yes, reminiscent of its Downton Abbey comparisons).
In this book, the season is in full swing. Ada struggles to contain her misgivings about her engagement to the seemingly perfect Lord Fintan--who has promised her an Oxford education as part of their marriage deal. And yet, Ada doesn't feel anything for him like she did for her first love. There's also the not-insignificant detail that Ada's new stepsister Charlotte is in love with Lord Fintan.
Rose, the former housemaid elevated to lady, struggles with the backbiting and unkindness of other debutantes, even as she manages to snare the interest of one of the season's most eligible--if unpredictable--bachelors, Lord Alexander Ross.
And back home at Somerton, the putative heir William is going through money at an astounding rate while also harassing his young son's nurse, Priya. And Ada's stepbrother Sebastian grieves that his former valet/lover Oliver is in jail for a crime he didn't commit.
So--lots of drama, no? Very Downtonesque. Throw in pretty girls, parties, lovely dress descriptions and you have this novel. It's reasonably well-written and fast-paced and a fun brain-candy read. There are a lot of side stories and I wasn't equally invested in all of them--and I felt like the ending wrapped things up a bit too neatly. (Though I'm sure if there's a sequel I will read that too . . .)